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A man who has any relish for fine writing either discovers new beauties or receives stronger impressions from the masterly strokes of a great author every time he peruses him; besides that he naturally wears himself into the same manner of speaking and thinking.
      - Joseph Addison

Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated: by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed.
      - Joseph Addison, in the "Tatler", no. 147

Banqueting with gods on the ambrosia and nectar of the mind.
      - William R. Alger

If a man read little, he had need have much cunning to seem to know that he doth not.
      - Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
      - Francis Bacon

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
      - Francis Bacon, Essays--Of Studies

It is not the reading of many books which is necessary to make a man wise or good, but the well-reading of a few, could he be sure to have the best. And it is not possible to read over many on the same subject without a great deal of loss of precious time.
      - Richard Baxter

Men must read for amusement as well as for knowledge.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

Reading is a dissuasion from immorality. Reading stands in the place of company.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
      - Bible, Habakkuk (ch. II, v. 2)

That he that readeth may run over it.
  [Lat., Ut percurrat qui legerit eum.]
      - Bible, (rendering in the Vulgate),
        Habakkuk (ch. II, v. 2)

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.
      - Book of Common Prayer,
        Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent

His classical reading is great: he can quote
  Horace, Juvenal, Ovid, and Martial by rote.
    He has read Metaphysics * * * Spinoza and Kant;
      And Theology too; I nave heard him descant
        Upon Basil and Jerome. Antiquities, art,
          He is fond of. He knows the old masters by heart,
            And his taste is refined.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Reading without purpose is sauntering, not exercise. More is got from one book on which the thought settles for a definite end in knowledge, than from libraries skimmed over by a wandering eye. A cottage flower gives honey to the bee, a king's garden none to the butterfly.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

There is a world of science necessary in choosing books. I have known some people in great sorrow fly to a novel, or the last light book in fashion. One might as well take a rose-draught for the plague! Light reading does not do when the heart is really heavy. I am told that Goethe, when he lost his son, took to study a science that was new to him. Ah! Goethe was a physician who knew what he was about.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature, the oldest. The classic literature is always modern.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,
        Caxtoniana--Hints on Mental Culture

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
      - Edmund Burke

Graceful, ingenious, illuminative reading.
      - Thomas Carlyle

Learn to be good readers, which is perhaps a more difficult thing than you imagine. Learn to be discriminative in your reading; to read faithfully, and with your best attention, all kinds of things which you have a real interest in,--a real, not an imaginary,--and which you find to be really fit for what you are engaged in.
      - Thomas Carlyle

If time is precious, no book that will not improve by repeated readings deserves to be read at all.
      - Thomas Carlyle, Essays--Goethe's Helena

We have not read an author till we have seen his object, whatever it may be, as he saw it.
      - Thomas Carlyle, Essays--Goethe's Helena

They that have read about everything are thought to understand everything too; but it is not always so. Reading furnishes the mind only with the materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours. We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections,--we must chew them over again.
      - William Ellery Channing

If there were no readers there certainly would be no writers. Clearly, therefore, the existence of writers depends upon the existence of readers; and, of course, as the cause must be antecedent to the effect, readers existed before writers. Yet, on the other hand, if there were no writers there could be no readers, so it should appear that writers must be antecedent to readers.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)

Force yourself to reflect on what you read, paragraph by paragraph.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The first class of readers may be compared to an hour-glass, their reading being as the sand; it runs in and runs out, and leaves not a vestige behind. A second class resembles a sponge, which imbibes everything, and returns it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtier. A third class is like a jelly-bag, which allows all that is pure to pass away, and retains only the refuse and dregs. The fourth class may be compared to the slave of Golconda, who, casting aside all that is worthless, preserves only the pure gems.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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